The Alpina Gstaad

Alpinastrasse 23, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland

Opened in 2012, the Alpina is one of only two newly built, five-star hotels in Gstaaad in more than a century. Situated in a wealthy hilltop area in Oberbort, the hotel offers stellar views of the Bernese Alps (including the Spitzhorn and Oldenhorn) and the valley scenery of the Saanenland—as well as an impressive amount of discreet luxury. Built in traditional Swiss chalet style, the limestone-and wood-structure contains 56 rooms and suites that pair antique and artisan furnishings (wardrobes, tables, carved ceilings) with contemporary design pieces. All rooms have great views, though the higher the better; on the 5th and 6th floors, you’ll find the jaw-dropping, duplex Panorama Suite, with separate dining and working areas, and a fireplace. Furthermore, throughout the hotel’s public spaces, guests can see art by famous artists like Barbara Kruger, Tracey Emin, and Bosco Sodi.

The hotel facilities are some of the best in Switzerland, ranging from an authentically Cuban-style cigar lounge to multiple Michelin-starred restaurants. The hotel’s Six Senses spa spans a whopping 21,500 square feet and includes an 80-foot-long lap pool, while an immaculately landscaped garden, designed by French garden designer Jean Mus, brims with Alpine plants and corresponding fragrances in the summer.

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A Silent Retreat for the Rich and Famous

Gstaad may not be as well known as St. Moritz but the rich and famous flock there just the same. The Alpine mountain village has a pedestrian-only central strolling area with lots of upscale shopping and eating options. Joe and I stayed at the Alpina Gstaad—one of the finest new hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing (rivaled perhaps by the Chedi in Andermatt, but only by a slim margin!). From the moment you drive up to its James Bond style entrance and then walk into its lobby with its priceless antique painted wooden ceiling (the 1700s era piece was bought from a prestigious Swiss art dealer and installed in the new hotel) you’re know you’re in for something special. We love the hotel’s “Silent Stay” program that lets you only be contacted in writing (staff will give you a special pin and will not speak to you unless you take it off) but you’ll certainly want to crow to your companion (as Joe and I did to each other) about the stone-and-wood architecture, the indoor and outdoor pool, the Six Senses Spa, the beautiful landscaped grounds, and the Michelin-star dining at Sommat (one of three restaurants at the hotel). Art lovers will want to visit the hotel’s rotating collection and couples will crave a stay in the hotel’s “Love Suite” designed and accessorized by the lingerie and love lifestyle company, Kiki De Montparnasse. Ready to embark on your own Swiss adventure? Check out the itineraries that have been created by the members of AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council and other specialists at AFAR Journeys.

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